Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jesus: Essential Reading

Blomberg. Craig. 1997. Jesus and the Gospels. Nashville : Broadman & Holman.
This is an outstanding overview of the background and issues surrounding the study of Jesus and the Gospels.
Bock, Darrell L. 2002. Jesus according to Scripture : Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Academic.
Presents a comprehensive picture of Jesus based solidly on a harmony of the four Gospels.
Eddy, Paul Rhodes and Gregory Boyd. 2007. The Jesus Legend. Grand Rapids : Baker Academic.
While focusing mostly on the “Jesus myth” theory, this book demolishes much of the liberal nonsense underlying the last 200 years of critical theories about Jesus. Outstanding!
Evans, Craig. 2006. Fabricating Jesus. Downers Grove, IL : IVP.
Provides and excellent discussion and refutation of modern critical attacks against Jesus and the Gospels by one of the world’s most knowledgeable Jesus scholars.
Habermas, Gary R. 1996. The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ. Joplin, MO : College Press.
Excellent discussion of historical sources--especially non-biblical sources--for the existence of Jesus
Habermas, Gary and Michael Licona. 2004. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Grand Rapids : Kregel.
Not nearly as scholarly or extensive as Wright’s Resurrection of the Son of God, but Habermas has produced an excellent, practical guide to discussing and defending the resurrection of Jesus including a refutation of a wide array of counter proposals.
Harris, Murray J. 1992. Jesus as God; the New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids : Baker.
May well be the best defense of Jesus deity in the New Testament ever published. Very scholarly but even non-scholars can learn a lot.
MacArthur, John. The Gospel According to Jesus; Revised & Expanded Edition. Grand Rapids : Zondervan.
An excellent discussion of what it really means to be a Christian and to follow Jesus. Includes an appendix on answers to criticism of the first edition.
Strobel, Lee. 1998. The Case for Christ. Grand Rapids : Zondervan. A journalist investigates evidence for Jesus and the historical reliability of the Gospels.
This is a very simple, basic introduction to the critical attacks against Jesus and the Gospels. For a more thorough and sophisticated (and for most, harder to understand defense, see Fabricating Jesus by Craig Evans).
Wenham, David. 1995. Paul; Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity? Grand Rapids : Eerdmans.
A prominent British scholar demonstrates convincingly that Paul did not make up his own religion—as many have charged—but got his theology from Jesus.
Witherington, Ben. 1987. The Christology of Jesus. Minneapolis : Fortress Press.
Witherington, uses the critics own historical methods and sources to show that Jesus presented himself as the messiah, savior and Son of God.
Wright, N.T. 2003. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Minneapolis : Fortress Press.
At over 800 pages this is probably the most extensive examination of the resurrection ever published. Truly outstanding!

Other good Jesus books

Bauckham, Richard. 2006. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses; The Gospels as eyewitness testimony. Grand Rapids : Eerdmans.
Against the grain of liberal criticism, Bauckham produces impressive evidence that the Gospels are based on eyewitness testimony for the ministry of Jesus.
Blomberg, Craig L. 1987. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. Westmont, IL : Intervarsity Press.
Excellent discussion affirming the Gospels’ historical reliability.
Bock, Darrell and Daniel Wallace. 2007. Dethroning Jesus; Exposing popular culture’s quest to unseat the biblical Christ. Nashville : Thomas Nelson.
Refutation of modern attacks against Jesus.
Boyd, Gregory A. 1995. Cynic Sage, or Son of God: Recovering the Real Jesus in an Age of Revisionist Replies. Victor Books.
One of the most thorough and devastating critiques of the radical critics, John Dominic Crossan and Burton Mack in print.
Burridge, Richard A. 1995. What are the Gospels? New York : Cambridge University Press.
A comparison of the Gospels with ancient biographies showing that the Gospels fit well in to the ancient genre of “bios” or biography.
Carson, D.A., Douglas Moo and Leon Morris. 1992. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids : Zondervan.
Provides an excellent overview of background issues (authorship, date, content, etc.) involved in studying the Gospels.
Copan, Paul and Ronald Tacelli, eds. 2000. Jesus’ Resurrection, Fact or Figment; a Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann. Downers Grove, IL : Intervarsity Press, 2000.
William Lane Craig is one of Evangelicalism’s leading philosopher/theologians (with doctors degrees in both fields). Gerd Ludemann is a radical critic in the same camp as Crossan, Mack, Funk, etc.
Craig, William Lane and John Dominic Crossan. 1998. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand up? : A Debate Between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books.
William Lane Craig is one of Evangelicalism’s leading philosopher/theologians (with doctors degrees in both fields). John Dominic Crossan was co-founder of the Jesus Seminar and one of the most influential Jesus scholars in the world.
Dunn, James D. G. 2003. Jesus Remembered. Grand Rapids : Eerdmans.
A monumental work, at over 1,000 pages! The book, all by itself, is a complete education on issues surrounding the historical study of Jesus from a moderately conservative perspective.
--. 1985. The Evidence for Jesus. Philadelphia : Westminster Press.
A moderately conservative British scholar evaluates the historical evidence for Jesus. Written for non-scholars.
Erickson, Millard. 1991. The Word Became Flesh: A Contemporary Incarnational Theology. Grand Rapids : Baker.
A theological discussion of Jesus from one of evangelicalism’s most prominent contemporary theologians.
Evans, C. Stephen. 1996. The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith : The Incarnational Narrative as History. Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press.
A philosophical discussion of the historical Jesus by a prominent evangelical philosopher.
France, R.T. 1986. The Evidence for Jesus. Downers Grove, IL : Intervarsity Press.
Evaluation of the historical evidence for Jesus. Written for non-scholars.
Green, Joel B. and Scot McKnight, eds. 1992. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL : Intervarsity Press.
Excellent source of information on a wide range of topics about Jesus and the Gospels.
Groothuis, Douglas. 1990. Revealing the New Age Jesus; Challenges to the Orthodox View of Christ. Downers Grove, IL : Intervarsity Press.
Argues against various New Age philosophies of Jesus.
Goodacre, Mark. 2002. The Case Against Q. Harrisburg, PA : Trinity Press International.
A British scholar presents a very convincing argument that “Q” never existed. Scholarly arguments but much can be understood by non-scholars as well.
Guthrie, Donald. 1990. New Testament Introduction. London : Inter-Varsity.
One of the world’s best conservative Bible scholars and theologians. This book is a gold-mine of background information (date, authorship, etc) about the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament.
Habermas, Gary and Anthony Flew. 1987. Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? Scranton, PA : HarperCollins.
Habermas, a Bible/Philosophy professor at Liberty University, debates Anthony Flew, a world-class (former) atheist philosopher, about whether Jesus rose from the dead. Also contains responses from other scholars.
Jenkins, Philip. 2001. Hidden Gospels; How the Search for Jesus Lost its Way. New York : Oxford University Press.
A gold-mine of information about Gnostic and apocryphal gospels and fictional gospels written down through the centuries. Jenkins is a historian from Pennsylvania State University who shows that the hype about newly discovered gospels is just that--hype.
Jones, Timothy Paul. Misquoting Truth; A guide to the fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus. Downer’s Grove, PA : IVP.
Refutation of Bart Ehrman’s recent attacks on the reliability of the New Testament.
Ladd, George Eldon. 1975. I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. Grand Rapids : Eerdmans.
A theologian from Fuller Seminary provides evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
Linnemann, Eta. 1992. Is There a Synoptic Problem? : Rethinking the Literary Dependence of the First Three Gospels. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Book House.
Linnemann, a one-time student of Rudolf Bultmann before her conversion, argues that the Gospels were written independently.
Marshall, I. Howard. 1977. I Believe in the Historical Jesus. Grand Rapids : William B. Eerdmans Publishing.
A moderately conservative and “world-class” British scholar who presents evidence for the historical Jesus.
Moucarry, Chawkat. 2002. The Prophet & the Messiah; An Arab Christian’s Perspective on Islam & Christianity. Downer’s Grove, IL : Intervarsity Press.
Contains significant discussion on Jesus and Islam.
Newman, Carey, ed. 1999. Jesus & the Restoration of Israel : A Critical Assessment of N.T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God. Downers Grove, Ill. : Intervarsity Press.
Essays by numerous evangelical scholars evaluating the methods and conclusions of N.T. Wright who is one of the world’s most prominent Jesus scholars.
Van Voorst, Robert E. 2000. Jesus Outside the New Testament. Grand Rapids : Eerdmans.
Excellent discussion of ancient evidence for Jesus, especially non-biblical evidence..
Wenham, John. 1984. Easter Enigma. Grand Rapids : Baker.
A prominent British scholar shows that, contrary to critical arguments, the Gospel resurrection narratives are not nearly contradictory as the critics imagine.
Wilkins, Michael J and J.P. Moreland, eds. 1995. Jesus under Fire. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Zondervan.
Critique of the notorious “Jesus Seminar.”
Witherington, Ben. 1999. Jesus the Seer; the Progress of Prophecy. Peabody, MA : Hendrickson, 1999.
Witherington, a conservative evangelical scholar from Asbury Seminary, discusses Jesus as a prophet in the context of ancient near eastern prophets and prophetic literature.
---. 1994. Jesus the Sage; The Pilgrimage of Wisdom. Minneapolis : Fortress Press, 1994.
Witherington discusses Jesus as a sage or wise man in the context of ancient near eastern wisdom literature and other sages.
Wright, N. T. 2003. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Minneapolis : Fortress Press.
Probably one of the most exhaustive and extensive discussions of Jesus’ resurrection in existence. Volume 3 of a multi-volume set.
---. 1996. Jesus and the Victory of God. Minneapolis : Fortress Press.
A discussion of the historical Jesus based on the foundation outlined in New Testament and the People of God. Volume 2 of a multi-volume set.
---. 1991. The New Testament and the People of God. Minneapolis : Fortress Press.
Provides a basic foundation in epistemology, historiography, hermeneutics, history etc. to study Jesus historically. Volume 1 of a multi-volume set.